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tv   [untitled]    March 8, 2012 6:30am-7:00am PST

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>> good afternoon. i want to thank everyone for coming. this is going to be the it gets better video, the first of its kind, produced by a law
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enforcement agency in the united states. some months ago, the commander came to me and said that she had a guy. it was a revelation at the time. she meant shawn norcutt, who was going to do our video for us. he has become not only are championed but our friend. unbelievable. along the way, i would be remiss if i did not recognize mike and albea, who worked with shawn to produce a very powerful video on such a critical subject. the young people in this country and in san francisco. without further ado, it is showtime. >> my name is greg and i'm the chief of police for the san francisco police department. i was a small young man in san
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francisco and i would get bullied all the time. i had many brothers and sisters and i really appreciated when people stop off for me. i cannot even imagine what it is like growing up as a lgbt youth today. nobody deserves to be bullied. it does get better. until it does, we are going to stick up for you. believe me, it gets better. >> my name is andrea. >> my name is windy and i am a sergeant. >> i am a commander. >> i am a sergeant with the san francisco police department. >> i am a dispatcher. >> my name is michelle martinez and i am a commander with the san francisco police department. >> i am a police officer. >> i am a commander. >> i am an officer with the san francisco police department.
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>> i grew up in new york city triet >> houston, texas. let's right outside manhattan. >> i am a native she said. >> my father was a sicilian man. >> my mother was and italian catholics. >> my mother was from japan. i was a bit of a tomboy. >> things got very awkward and strange for me. i had to start trying to act like one and look like one. >> i would always dress in jeans and converse tennis shoes. my girlfriends would be checking out the guys and i would be checking out the girls. >> i had these close friendships with my best girlfriend and i was hiding from my senior prom date. >> there was never someone i could talk to because i thought i was different. >> by the age of five or six i already knew that i should keep it on the down low.
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>> i knew, absolutely, that i was not supposed to talk about it. >> i was not honest with myself or my family and. >> you are raised with the idea that you're supposed to grow up and have a family. >> find the man of your dreams to would support you. >> grow up and get married and have a husband. >> a wife, two children, a defense. -- picket fence. >> i did not have any positive gay role models that were out there. >> all of the imagery associated with gays and lesbians was someone you were supposed to laugh at or someone who was supposed to be ridiculed. >> i did not have anything that showed me it was ok to be who i am.
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>> i had times when i did not want to get up and get out of bed, face the day. >> the feeling was really low. >> i wanted to just not be around. >> i thought of suicide. i was depressed. >> mostly, the message was that there was something wrong with me and i should just died. >> it did not feel good to want what i thought everybody should want. it just made me angry. >> there was a part of me that was a little bit ashamed. >> when the pain got too bad, in the pit of my stomach, i realize i need to tell my parents. >> mom, i think i am gay. she says, i think i knew that. >> it was harder for me to tell my mom that it was for my mom to hear what i needed to say.
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>> i was a police officer for four years, thinking i was the only gay male police officer in the world. i believe i was the only gay male police officer in the world. >> others were like, huh? >> their jaws dropped. i expected my father to have a different reaction than he did. he looked about me and said, are you happy? i said, yes. he said, he looked down and said, then who gives a shit? >> and then he said, maybe solve all is not a good idea. softball is true all gayness for women. >> i started crying and i broke down and started -- and told them. i want you to know that i am gay. there was a very long pause and me crying and all of a sudden, my grandfather, who is, by all
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means, the typical person that would not accept someone who is gay, he broke the silence and said, stacy, we love you. >> my whole world suddenly opened up. >> telling that first person was a big deal. after the first few people, i just started acting like it was everybody should know this. >> this is who i am. >> i will never forget this. i opened the door, my dad is out there. he looks at me and says, i am so sorry if i ever said fag.
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>> my life now is great. >> i would have missed the first time being held by someone i love. loving, i would have missed experiencing the joy and jubilation of life. people who show me amazing new things all the time, new ways to think and look at the world. i never foresaw being a police officer. i thought it was something that i could not do. >> things keep getting better for me. >> it does get better. >> i will help you and i will protect you and i will listen. >> we are here to help make your transition as smooth as possible. >> it does get better. >> oh, it gets better. >> so many people just like you. >> things start getting better as soon as you reach out to other people.
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>> you do not have to tolerate peoples in on acceptance of you. you just forge ahead and do what you love and it just gets better. >> nothing in life is worth harming yourself. nothing. if you give up trying, they have one. you cannot let them win. >> you just need to be you. >> you need to know that you are ok, you are beautiful. you are a person who has tremendous value. you have something to give. >> you are not alone. >> stop putting up with everyone's crap. just be yourself. >> people might talk about you, but it is all ok. there is help out there. >> call the police because we will be there. it will get better. >> it gets way better. >> a lot better. >> it does get better.
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your life can be so full of love and amazing. special experiences and it gets so much better. [applause] >> if i could, can i get the stars of the show to stand up and take it out? -- take a bow? [applause] they talk about the courage of cops all the time. that took a lot of courage to do that. shawn, thank you. god bless you. without any further ado, the mayor of san for cisco, -- san francisco, edwin lee.
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>> i had a chance to preview this as well. the one that touches me is, i am a san francisco police officer. i am there for you and i will help you. it will get better. those are the ones that stand out. masterfully placed in this video by some of those who just started appreciating and led by the chief and commander, having the officers really unveil their own personal stories. it is, for me, a moment of being proud of our department and everybody in it. it is hard for people to come out and say where they have been. but this police department, with this video, how it is put together, is now joining a worldwide campaign. a campaign that we have been forced to acknowledge. it has to be done because of the
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numbers of stories that we have heard across the country. in cities like ours. bullying, harassment, discrimination have caused young teenagers to consider the worst of life at their age. that isolation and loneliness that accompanies that, the have not been heard by adults and people and had not seen partners in their areas. the consideration of suicide has been unveiled in this country because of that. the trevor project and the it gets better movement started about 1.5 years ago. it has made it through different point of the country -- different parts of the country, political persons of notoriety, including nancy pelosi all the way up to secretary of state clinton and president obama himself, recently.
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we felt and i have very much supported the collaboration that lee did with our chief and the war department to get everybody to speak out on this and contribute to this very necessary content -- campaign of education. representatives of our school department, are unified school district, our public safety agencies, to share in this responsibility that we need to talk to our kids. we need to tell them the words that are here. we need to put it in a way in which it really gets to them. it is not only well done, but you cannot walk away and not be emotional about wanting to be part of this movement. i want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the individual officers who stepped up, not only as uniformed officers, but in our whole public safety division.
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everybody is coming together to say that -- i think this is an incredible contribution that is the first in the country of officially contributing, as a police department, adding its voice to voices that need to be heard. a lot of kids still need to hear the love and embracing that we have for them, the care that we have for them. they know that there is an answer and they know there are friends and they know there will be police department, to act to protect them against these things so they will feel for sure that things will get better. this is a wonderful contribution. shawn, it is masterfully done, and it brings out not only the officers' lives, but our unity as a city to want to do something significant that could contribute to this worldwide
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movement. thank you very much to everybody in. [applause] >> the next speaker is school board commissioner and the mayor's adviser on families and education, hydra mendoza. >> thank you. i had a chance to see this this morning and i am just so proud to be in a city where the leadership has taken this courageous step to talk about something, particularly for our youth, that we have had a really difficult time confronting. for the last 20 years, san francisco unified has been a leader around adopting curriculum, making wellness' centers and your resource centers available to our youth. it has not been enough. the court to all of this is always about the caring adults. what you have demonstrated for us today is the ability to reach
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out and connect with our youth and let them know that there is a caring faction in our community and every part of san francisco that is going to be there to help and not judge but to support. i am proud and honored to be standing here. i want to rattle off a couple of statistics that make this so much more important than some -- than anyone realized. nine out of our 10 lgbt youth in our schools continue to get harassed. one-third of them get one day -- skip one day of school due to safety confirms. there are four times more likely to commit suicide. 45% of teen suicides are from the lgbt community. 28% of our teachers do not step in when something like this happens and even a larger percentage of kids. we have a full-fledged effort to make people not be bystanders but to step in and this is exactly what you're doing for
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our youth today. from the bottom of my heart today, and on a personal note, my brother came out when he was 22 and i was the first person that he told. i cannot imagine what he went through from when he felt the need to come out and when he actually came out. i wish he had folks like you to support him the way that our youth are going to be supported. from the bottom of my heart, thank you very much. we are planning on getting this out to all of our schools. we're going to make sure it is part of all of our programming and curriculum. thank you very much for your leadership, and all of you that have courageously come out to say, they are great kids and it does get better. [applause] >> pretty much, right now, this video is available on the website. it will be up loaded and available to the general public on youtube from now on.
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we keep talking about the police department, but we got help from the dispatcher. the dispatcher keeps asking me all the time, god bless you for stepping up. i wish i had a trophy to hand this guy. but i do not. you are the best. come on up. [applause] >> all i have to say is, i am new to san francisco. i actually moved from dallas just in time to watch the giants trouble them. i am so happy. i feel like i am home. more than that, i feel like i am the luckiest guy to know that my home is being protected by these officers. it was a long time in the editing process. i am grateful to hear your
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stories over and over again. thank you for saving lives. [applause] >> that pretty much concludes the presentation. if anybody has any questions, anybody up here or any of the officers super dissipated in the video. then we will conclude. >> and you did not talk a lot about what you felt about it rid can you give us an idea of what you feel the impact of watching the video will have on the people who are watching it? >> i do not think there is a person in here who did not tear up a little bit watching this thing. just the heart to come out. when lee said, do you want to do it? it was a no-brainer. i did not know it would turn out like this. i could not be prouder of all the san francisco police officers who are here for our lgbt kids or any kids.
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kids deserve to grow up free of all the other nonsense. this video says so. >> so do i.. >> why you think it is so long since the campaign has been around for more than one year. >> it has -- i have not been around for more than one year. this was raised to me right off the bat. it takes a while to bake a cake. that is beautiful. we did get it turned around pretty quickly. >> we have had this conversation before. but i am blown away by the fact that when i was born in 1950 and was raised in the 1960's, it resonates with someone who said they thought they were the only day police officer. i thought i was the only gay
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person. there were not people i could identify with. there were characters on the streets of san francisco who dispatched people of a certain racial background. that was not someone -- i was not something i apply to. the police officer saying, the police will support you. i do not think that has happened in any other city in the united states. i am very proud to live in san francisco for that reason. thank you. >> i just want to also knowledge that i am on the board of directors for the national center for lesbian rights. we will be bringing out and honoring five of the student plaintiff's in the case that was
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a cluster of suicides that happened for lgbt use in michele bachmann's congressional district. this is a fabulous time to bring this forward. we are looking forward to having them as our guest and i hope we can show them this video. and have some of the officers. >> absolutely. >> this is not a shy group. >> it would be great to have them meet all of the falls. >> one more. >> will be difficult -- >> we put it out to all of our officers in the department. we had a number of volunteers. shawn beautifully, the officers that participated, and one of
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our dispatchers, they kept saying that it is how comfortable it makes you feel. every single officer, it was not difficult. they wanted to do this. that is something that truly touched my heart. all of us have been there. we have our own coming out stories and we all identify with kids. nobody wants to see a kid having to go through some of the stuff that we went through. we wanted to be there for them. i could not be prouder of this group of officers. they truly are amazing. >> we are going to end the past -- the press conference now. everybody will remain available for questions. thank you. [applause]
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collects hello, i am director of the city human services agency. we're here today to celebrate an effort that began in 2009 with the passage of the stimulus act by congress has introduced by the president. one of the components of that act was a robust says -- subsidized employment program that we call san francisco jobs now. through that effort, over 17 months, we employ over 4,000 san franciscans and put a lot of people back to work for the first time in a long time. when that expired at the federal level, because we had such success, we continue the program, thanks to the leadership of mayor lee, former mayor newsom. we put some local money in, combined with some state and federal dollars, to put almost 800 people to work through this current program adoration,
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helping support businesses like the one we're at today. we're here to celebrate our achievements and to demonstrate that job programs like these work. they work for local businesses. they work for folks who have not been in the work force for a long time. we are honored today, a very important man from washington, d.c., is here to celebrate with us. george shelgren, acting administrator for children and families for hhs. he is out here to talk a bit about the program and the federal perspective as well. before i introduce him, i would like to introduce mayor lee, who has been a steadfast supporter of jobs now, both with the private sector initiatives, like the ones we're showing today, on the public's eye through clean streets and clean parks, and the non-profit sector. i will turn it over to mayor lee for a few marks, and then over to george. >> thank you.
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as all of you know, the mayor of san fran, i never get tired of talking about jobs, because there is so much of and need. also, there is that theme which can instantly get you into people's lives and talk about how a dog can transform their lives in such positive ways. -- how i job and transform their lives in such positive ways. the word job can be stale if you do not get to the real lives of people and things that happen. we were talking about how this corner was even physically transformed because of this pastry shop that has enlivened it from kind of a dead area that was challenged by other challenging things to one now that is much more beaming with business and people wanting to do things that are positive. when the federal government did our monies back some years ago and they were test casing all
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jurisdictions across the country as to who would kind of create models that would be sustainable, i think they were talking about san francisco. because years later, when those monies are not necessarily available, we had the third or fourth iteration of that jobs now program with local funds, because we believe in those goals. it was a chance to use the federal money in the right way. we have done that with the great support of not only our local human services agency and leadership there but through the human services agency that herb schulz has been a great leader in. and we get to show off with mr. sheldon's visit here. he will see this as one of the many examples of how we use the funds to stimulate our economy, but also how we have transformed the individual lives. we have people who really did not have the skill sets, wondering whether or not they would be able to use the opportunity to gain job skills
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that would sustain them, whether they wanted to get more education or create more education opportunities that led to a career. you will be able to visit some of those individuals that are working right here today. you cannot escape them because they have such big windows. you have to see them working. no breaks here, but they're working because they are building these skills that have been interest in. and these skills will lead them to a great many opportunities that are forthcoming. that is exactly what the administration, the federal government wished it to happen. this is what we are actually doing. this is what our small-business advocates, like stoccott halgie for many years have been saying, to increase small businesses like this, and then to activate areas that have been dead in because of lack of activity.
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then awaken individuals, those with challenges in their life with economics that would not have had that chance. now they have that chance. individuals working here are taking every opportunity to not squander that great gift that we are getting. and then changing their lives as they are coming forth. this is the great story of america. this is where we meet federal goals with local goals, and this is where we implement those promises to everybody that we oftentimes say in words we want to promise you something, but sometimes we cannot deliver. i think this program is delivering but it is making a difference. i am eager, not only to come here to see a good friend again and our agencies, but i am also here to eat the cupcakes. [laughter] thank you. [applause] >> thank you. i had the opportunity to meet mr